Hepatitis C Treatment
Anyone who has a positive PCR test is considered to have active Hepatitis C infection. Anyone with active infection should be offered referral to the local specialist service so that treatment can be considered. If you have an acute infection, you may not be experiencing any symptoms, however at this stage treatment can be very effective. If you have ongoing chronic infection this can lead to severe liver damage including cirrhosis (irreversible liver scarring) and, in some cases, liver cancer. Further investigations, specialised blood tests and scans of the liver may be needed. Treatment can only be offered to you by being referred to and attending specialist care.
Treatment for Hepatitis C is antiviral therapy given as a combination of pegylated interferon (IFN) and ribavarin for a period of 16 to 72 weeks depending on your individual case. Treatment is not required life-long.
The aims of treatment are: